THE BLOG

Cameron Is Team Westminster, Not Team West Oxfordshire

12/11/2015 14:56 GMT | Updated 12/11/2016 10:12 GMT

Details have come to light of an exchange of letters between David Cameron and Ian Hudspeth, Conservative leader of Oxfordshire County Council. The letters show Cameron has no appreciation of the impact of the cuts he is raining down on councils across the country.

Rightly the media has been highlighting the hypocrisy of our Witney MP, David Cameron, in writing to his local County Council objecting to cuts forced on the authority by his own Government. These cuts, as well as those to tax credits, were of course covered up or denied by Mr Cameron during the recent General Election, at which I stood as Labour's candidate in Witney.

Witney Labour Party fought the election campaign as a team, for the election of councillors as well as an MP, to work together under the banner Team West Oxfordshire not Team Westminster. There is no sign of Mr Cameron working in the same team as anyone locally to manage or mitigate the impact of his awful government policies.

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In hustings, meeting and leaflets, Mr Cameron pledged to protect the best interests of West Oxfordshire. Instead his Government has continued to turn the screw, with West Oxon bus services, road maintenance and flood prevention measures, pothole filling, children's centres including Chipping Norton ACE Centre, day centres for the elderly, waste tips, respite care and support for carers, and mobile libraries all under threat.

Meanwhile our (Conservative) Police Commissioner threatens legal action because the Force is cut too far, NHS budgets creak and services shrink with a ward currently closed in Witney Hospital, and schools face staff shortages and budget crises.

Labour locally and nationally backs reform, but not these austerity measures, which are designed to shrink our services and which damage our economic recovery, as well as placing unfair burdens on our communities and the councils which serve them.

What does Mr Cameron offer? A ticking off from the Policy Unit at Number 10? This is like inviting the victims to discuss their blood groups with the vampires who bit their necks.

So I ask, did we get Team West Oxfordshire or Team Westminster back in May?